Sunday, August 6, 2006
Elias Says ...
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN Insider
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Coco Crisp struck out four times in Boston's loss to the Devil Rays, becoming the first Red Sox leadoff hitter to strike out at least four times in one game since Rickey Henderson on May 27, 2002.
• David Ortiz hit his 40th home run of the season on Sunday and increased his RBI total to 109. The Red Sox have played 110 games in 2006, and it's the first time in 45 years that an American League player has reached 40 home runs and 100 RBI within his team's first 110 games of the season. In 1961, both Roger Maris (in the Yankees' 106th game) and Mickey Mantle (109th game) did that.
• John Maine pitched six shutout innings in the Mets' 8-1 win against the Phillies. Maine has not allowed a run in each of his last three starts. He's the first rookie pitcher to do that -- while throwing at least six innings in each outing -- since the Brewers' Cal Eldred in August 1992. The last National League rookie with three straight scoreless starts of at least six innings was Orel Hershiser, who threw three straight complete-game shutouts for the Dodgers in July 1984. (Hershiser had one relief appearance -- on the Sunday before the All-Star break -- during that streak.)
• The Twins' 22-hit attack at Kansas City was led by an unlikely duo: ninth-place hitter Jason Bartlett had five hits and Jason Tyner had four hits from the eighth slot in the order. Since 1973, the first year of the designated hitter, only two other teams had at least nine hits from their bottom two starters in the lineup: the Tigers' Carlos Pena and Omar Infante combined for 10 hits on May 27, 2004 and the Brewers' Kevin Seitzer and Scott Fletcher had 10 hits on Aug. 28, 1992.
• The Dodgers have now won nine consecutive games, a streak that began after they lost eight straight. They are the sixth team in major-league history to lose at least eight straight games and follow that immediately with a winning streak of at least eight games. The others: the 1931 Cubs, 1949 Red Sox, 1965 Pirates, 1985 Twins and 2001 Cubs.
• The Dodgers' starting pitcher has earned a victory in each of the team's last six games and all six of those games have been on the road. In the last 10 years, only one major-league team has had a longer streak of that type. Seattle won eight straight games -- all on the road -- with a starting pitcher getting the victory each time in 2003. It's the first time that the Dodgers have had six straight games of that type since 1978, when they won six straight road games and starters Doug Rau, Burt Hooton, Don Sutton, Tommy John, Bob Welch and Rick Rhoden earned the wins.
• The Marlins made two errors in their loss to the Dodgers and Florida has now made 11 errors over its last five games, the highest total for any National League team over any five-game span this season.
• Edgar Renteria singled in the first inning and then Andruw Jones hit a home run, giving the Braves a 2-0 lead in their 6-4 win at Cincinnati. Renteria is batting .430 in the first inning this season, the highest such average in the major leagues, and Jones has 28 RBI in the first inning, the most for any player in the majors.
• Matt Cain struck out 12 batters in San Francisco's win against Colorado. He's the first Giants' rookie to whiff at least 12 in one game since John Montefusco in September 1975.
Cain is the third rookie pitcher with at least 12 strikeouts in a game this season, joining Cole Hamels and Francisco Liriano, who have each done that twice. The last season in which there were more than three rookies with a 12-K game was in 1984 (Dwight Gooden, Mark Langston, Roger Clemens and Ron Darling).
• The Diamondbacks beat the Astros 4-3 and Conor Jackson, batting fourth in Arizona's lineup, set up the go-ahead run with a sacrifice bunt in the sixth inning. Only three other cleanup hitters have executed a sacrifice bunt this season: Nick Johnson (twice), J.D. Drew and Rich Aurilia.
• The Tigers beat Cleveland 1-0 and the lone run scored was unearned. It's the first time in 21 years that the Tigers won a 1-0 game on the strength of an unearned run. They last did that at Milwaukee on April 26, 1985, when Kirk Gibson tripled in the first inning and came around to score on that same play when Jim Gantner threw wildly to third base.
• Five Detroit pitchers combined for the shutout. Only two other teams in the last 10 seasons needed at least five pitchers to win a 1-0 game in nine innings: Seattle in 2001 and the Cubs in 2000.
• The Blue Jays beat the White Sox 7-3, pinning a defeat on Jose Contreras. It's Contreras' fourth loss since July 14, the day his 17-game winning streak ended, tying for the most losses for any pitcher in the majors over that period.
• Rich Hill struck out nine batters in the Cubs' 6-1 victory against Pittsburgh. It's the fourth time this season that a rookie pitcher struck out at least nine Pirates in one game. Scott Olsen did it twice and Francisco Liriano once. Over the last 50 years, only two NL teams were whiffed at least nine times by a rookie more often than the 2006 Pirates: the 2002 Astros and 1969 Mets, who each endured that five times.
• Jeff Suppan improved to 12-2 (.857) in his career against Milwaukee. Only two pitchers -- past or present -- have a higher career winning percentage against the Brewers (minimum: 10 decisions): Wade Miller (11-1, .917) and Jose Lima (10-1, .909).
• Derek Jeter entered Sunday's game with a .467 career batting average against Rodrigo Lopez, which was his second-highest average against any pitcher off whom he had at least 25 at-bats (he's 14-for-28, .500 vs. Eric Milton), and true to form Jeter smacked a home run off Lopez in the first inning, igniting the Yankees to a 6-1 win.
• Mariano Rivera made the 696th relief appearance of his career Sunday, a new high for pitchers on New York City teams. The previous record-holder was John Franco, the only non-Yankees pitcher to hold the mark since Johnny Murphy passed Jack Quinn (Brooklyn Dodgers) in 1939. Murphy held the record until 1977. Other record-holders since then were Sparky Lyle (1977-1990), Dave Righetti (1990-1999), and Franco since then.
• Tiger Woods shot 24 under par at the Buick Open to capture his 50th career PGA Tour title. Woods shot 66 in each of the four rounds, the first time he has ever carded a six-under-par or better in every round of a tournament. In fact, he was only the third golfer in the last 26 years to post four straight rounds of six-under or better in a tournament. The others were Ernie Els at the 2003 Mercedes Championships and John Huston at the 1998 United Airlines Hawaiian.